Today I had to make a difficult decision: was I going to honor the life of a former colleague at a memorial service, or celebrate the life of my husband by participating in his birthday plans? Missing either event did not feel good – yet I couldn’t be in two places simultaneously. A choice had to be made. After some deliberation, I decided to spend the day with my husband.
My sweetie and I started the day by meeting another couple at a nearby theater to watch a movie. As one of many previews played on the screen, a character from another film shared this statement: “They say a person dies two deaths: one is the last time they draw a breath, and the other is the last time someone says their name.” Given my current state of mind, this sentiment touched me deeply. My departed colleague drew her last breath on January 6th; yet as long as I have breath in my body, her name will live on. Indeed, she impacted so many other people in her brief time on earth that her name, her life, will not be forgotten for a very long time.
I chose to spend the day with my husband – and I am confident that this was the correct choice for me, for us. Yet I hold my colleague, as well as all of her family, friends, acquaintances, and associates, in my mind and my heart. Manya Twite Johnson, I wish you peace.
[Manya left behind many people in her life, but one of the most notable is her 17-month-old boy, Oliver. A group of amazing people quickly established a memorial fund to help support this baby as he now must grow up without either of his parents. If you are willing to make a donation and help care for this child, or to simply share the link and help spread the word, every kind act is appreciated. Thank you.]